DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A 76-year-old Darlington County man was shot and killed at a KFC restaurant in Lee County, according to Sheriff Daniel Simon.

Lonnie Ray of Lamar died after being shot multiple times, Simon said. Multiple bullets also hit the restaurant located on Sumter Highway in Bishopville.

Simon said Ray was at the location to sell a French Bulldog when he was shot.

“Here he met the gentlemen,” Simon said. “He had a passenger in the vehicle with him. When they went to do the exchange for the dog, the guy snatched the leash from him and pulled out a handgun and started firing.”

Lonnie Ray: Photo courtesy of Lee County Sheriff’s Office

Ray was taken to a local hospital where he died. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday, Simon said.

So far, there have been no arrests in the case. Simon called the killing “heartless.”

“Talked to the family,” he said. “He won the battle with cancer. He was in the military, been in wars and for him to lose his life over something senseless of trying to do an exchange or sell a French Bulldog and for someone to take his life, that’s heartless.”

Simon said this is the second killing in that area, and the department is looking to install cameras to deter further crimes.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo courtesy of Lee County Sheriff’s Office

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 888-CrimeSC.  

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Dennis Bright is a digital producer at News13. Dennis is a West Virginia native and graduate of Marshall University. He has won copyediting and journalism awards in Virginia and Ohio. Follow Dennis on Twitter and read more of his work here.

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Taylor Ford is a multimedia journalist for News13. She joined the News13 team in January 2023. Taylor is a Florence native and covers the Pee Dee out of News13’s Florence Bureau. Read more of Taylor’s work here.